Monday, September 6, 2010

Signs and symptoms of Cancer

Symptoms of cancer metastasis depend on the location of the tumor.
Roughly, cancer symptoms can be divided into three groups:
  • Local symptoms: unusual lumps or swelling (tumor), hemorrhage (bleeding), pain and/or ulceration. Compression of surrounding tissues may cause symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing the eyes and skin).
  • Symptoms of metastasis (spreading): enlarged lymph nodes, cough and hemoptysis, hepatomegaly (enlarged liver), bone pain, fracture of affected bones and neurological symptoms. Although advanced cancer may cause pain, it is often not the first symptom.
  • Systemic symptoms: weight loss, poor appetite, fatigue and cachexiawasting), excessive sweating (night sweats) (, anemia and specific paraneoplastic phenomena, i.e. specific conditions that are due to an active cancer, such as thrombosis or hormonal changes.
Every symptom in the above list can be caused by a variety of conditions (a list of which is referred to as the differential diagnosis). Cancer may be a common or uncommon cause of each item.

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